Winter is almost knocking at the door and it’s time for some freshly harvested fruits and vegetables. From melons and oranges to cauliflowers and cabbages- winter is the time to enjoy the bounty of mother nature! But there is a catch.
The so-called “fresh” vegetables and fruits that you have been buying from the market or the local departmental store are anything but fresh. Just think of the number of hands that have probably touched them before they fell into your hands. Crazy, right?
No, we don’t want you to ditch your favourite marketplace. However, after you bring them home, why not disinfect them fully so that all the pesticides and dirt are fully gone? Sounds like a plan, right? Today, let’s learn about the various ways to safeguard what you are putting in your mouth.
Now, we all at some point have simply rinsed our vegetables and fruits with water and maybe a little soap and called it a day. In fact, in the good old days, that’s how grandmas and cooks used to wash their vegetables. Cut to 2021, this practice is both old and cliche. That’s why you will notice the rising popularity of instant fruit and veggie washes.
Can I use commercial fruit and vegetable washes?
Sure. In fact, these commercial washes are pretty effective too. However, there are some catches. Firstly, most market-bought veggie washes contain a lot of chemicals. So in a way, you are removing chemicals and dirt from your vegetables by using other chemicals. On a scale of 1-10, how healthy do you think it is?
Plus, the addition of these chemicals contributes to their usually high prices. While we are not against commercial fruit and vegetable washes, why not make one at home which is much cheaper and contains common kitchen ingredients. The best thing- you know exactly what is going into your wash!
Benefits of DIY fruit and vegetable wash
- It’s cheaper compared to commercial fruit and veggie washes
- Does not contain too many chemicals. They are made with care at home with simple kitchen ingredients.
- Made under perfectly sanitary conditions, so no chance of infection.
DIY Fruit and vegetable washes
Ever noticed the difference between an apple from the orchard and a store-bought one? The store-bought one will likely have some whitish cast (mold) on it. It is always there even under refrigeration. Naturally sourced fruits will never have this waxy substance on them. But, hey we cannot make a weekly visit to the orchard for fruits, right? Here’s how to enjoy tasty and fresh fruits within the comforts of your home:
DIY wash for grapes and most fruits
Things you need:
- 1 cup of fresh cold water
- ½ cup of white vinegar
- 1 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1/8th teaspoon of grapefruit seed extract
- Gentle scrub brush
- Paper towels
Grapefruit seed extract is a very potent antioxidant with several microbial properties. Simply mix all the ingredients and pour it into a spray bottle right after! Give the mixture a good shake and you are ready to go!
To wash, place your colander in the sink. Put in your fruits and vegetables and spray them generously with the DIY wash. Now for thin fruits and vegetables, this is fine. However, for the ones with a thicker skin, rinse off with cold water and then scrub off any dirt/residue with a gentle veggie brush!
Now, all you have to do is to pat dry them with paper towels.
DIY wash for common fruits and vegetables
Things you need for this:
- 2 cups cold water
- ¼ th cup of white vinegar
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
Just like above, you simply need to mix in all your fruits and vegetables in a colander. Then spritz some of the spray and then let it sit for a minute or two. Now rinse all the fruits and vegetables in tap water carefully and tada! Your fruits and vegetables are as good as fresh produce!!
DIY wash for the leafy greens
Who doesn’t like a dose of healthiness in their daily diet? Yes, we are talking about the bright green leafy vegetables! You cannot use just any wash for cleaning these leafies. Follow this recipe:
- Glass/metal bowl
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Distilled white vinegar
- Paper Towels
First place your leafy greens in a clean glass/metal bowl and soak them in a solution of vinegar and water in 1:4 ratio. Then add in a tablespoon of salt. Let them remain soaked for 2-5 minutes. Now rinse your leafy greens thoroughly in running cold water. Now, all you have to do is dry the greens with a paper towel and you are done!
One pro-tip here: Make sure to do this washing just before cooking. Any excess moisture on the leafy greens if left for a long time will lead to decay.
Don’t have vinegar in the house? No worries. You can easily swap it with baking soda. Foamy and equally effective, a solution of 1 cup water, 1 tbsp lemon juice and 1 tbsp of baking soda will do the trick.
What to do if you notice the vegetables are too dirty? Well, you deep cleanse them. Here’s how:
Add in ½ cup water, ½ cup vinegar and 2 tablespoons of salt in a large bowl. Now soak the vegetables for a good half an hour. Any bugs, dirt, pesticide and other nasties inside are sure to get washed away!
It is very important to make sure that whatever we are eating is perfectly ready to be consumed and not detrimental to our health. From now on, if you ever wonder about how to disinfect fruits and vegetables, we have got not one but five methods to wash your precious fruits and veggies. Choose any one you like and get going. Just make sure your “fresh” vegetables are really fresh.
- Should leafy greens and other vegetables be washed separately?
Yes. Regular vegetables and green leafies should always be washed separately with different solutions.
- What to do if I don’t have vinegar in the house?
No worries. Even if you don’t have vinegar in the house, you can easily swap it with baking soda.
- Why shouldnt be leafy greens be washed before storing in the refrigerator?
Leafy greens are extremely sensitive to moisture. When they are washed prematurely and stored, the moisture can lead them to wilt and decay eventually.
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